Mixed Martial Arts Podcasting Surges in Popularity

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The popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Podcasts has been growing significantly in the past six months. Four of the top 100 spots on iTunes are now regularly occupied by MMA Podcasts.

The popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Podcasts has been growing significantly in the past six months. Four of the top 100 spots on iTunes are now regularly occupied by MMA Podcasts.

According to Mike Watkins, host and producer of the MMA Cast, one of iTunes most listened to MMA shows, the popularity of the shows was an expected occurrence.

"Fans of Mixed Martial Arts only get to see their favorite fighter in three, maybe four fights a year. Even before the fight, the introduction piece is only about 3 minutes long, so fans are eager to get more information about the fighters and the sport," said Watkins.

"On our show, fans get listen to a 20 to 30 minute in depth interview with fighters that they may or may not know. After the interview they have a much more intimate knowledge of the fighter and feel more connected to them. Since fighting is essentially an individual sport, the perceived intimacy with the fighter changes the fans perspective. Listeners seem to really connect with a fighter after hearing some of the more personal questions that we ask on the show."

The surge in popularity is not surprising considering the demographic. Mixed Martial Arts appeals to males 18-34 years old, who are comfortable with the podcasting technology and who would never take the time to sit in front of a radio at a specified time and listen to a broadcast. Over the past year the popularity of surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding podcasts consistently occupied spots in the iTunes Top 100, and several of them are regularly featured in the Top 10.

"We view podcasting as Tivo for your radio. Listeners can choose where and when they want to listen to a show. They can listen on their computer while they are browsing the web, or they can easily put the shows on an iPod or other MP3 player and listen to the show wherever they want. The podcasts are also automatically updated on iTunes and listeners can have the shows sync to their iPods without much effort," said Watkins.

As Mixed Martial Arts continues to grow, and as it continues to be accepted as a mainstream sport, the fighters, and their management are starting to understand that this medium is crucial in helping them gain fans, and ultimately increase their payout for each fight. Also, with so many new leagues and events taking place it is hard for the casual fan to keep up with all of the fighters. The podcasts have provided a solution for this problem, and their popularity should continue to surge as the outlook for Mixed Martial Arts looks to be very strong in 2007.

The MMA Cast was founded by Atlanta Entrepreneur Mike Watkins. The show can be downloaded on http://www.mmacast.com, or listeners can also get free updates of the show by going to

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=206211935

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